Silencing Rachel Corrie

Alison Croggon, poet, playwright, novelist, blogger and editor from Down Below just alerted some of us to what looks like a rather nasty — but yawningly predictable — bit of censorship happening on (or off) the New York stage right now. Here is the mesage she sent to the poetryetc list, which has a link to get you to her full version of the story on her blog & to NYC blogs on same (as I must say the NY press doesn’t seem to have highlighted this story, and if they have run it, they’ve probably relegated it to what the French call the “rubrique des chiens écrasés,” the roadkill section.

The theatrical blogosphere is abuzz with the New York Theatre Workshop’s recent decision to cancel or postpone – it’s unclear which – the Royal Court’s production of My Name Is Rachel Corrie , a play based on the diaries and emails of the young American activist who was crushed to death by Israeli bulldozers as she attempted to stop Palestinian homes from being razed by the IDF.

The play, devised by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, was first produced in 2005 at London’s Royal Court, and the Royal Court production was preparing to take it to the New York stage later this month when NYTW artistic director Jim Nicola pulled the plug. As Katherine Viner comments in an article in the LA Times :

Last week the New York Theatre Workshop canceled the production — or, in its words, “postponed it indefinitely.” The political climate, we were told, had changed dramatically since the play was booked. As James Nicola, the theater’s ‘s artistic director, said Monday, “Listening in our communities in New York, what we heard was that after Ariel Sharon’s illness and the election of Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections, we had a very edgy situation.” Three years after being silenced for good, Rachel was to be censored for political reasons.


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